How To Do & Muscles Worked

cat cow pose
(Marjaryasana Bitilasana)

Cat cow is a staple mobility exercise to warm up the spine and core region. It’s great for working on stability, mobility, and control from the neck all the way down to the sacrum and tailbone.

  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Challenging

Which Muscles Are Worked?

Diagram of primary and secondary muscles worked from Cat cow pose

Primary Muscles

Upper Back Neck Lower Back

Secondary Muscles

Abs Shoulders

Exercise Type

Yoga icon

How to do cat cow pose (Marjaryasana Bitilasana) Properly

Step by Step Guide

Begin in a quadruped pose on your hands and knees. Have the hands directly under the shoulders with fingers facing forward and the knees directly under the hips. Start with a neutral spine and abs engaged.

Begin by rounding the spine as if an angry cat would by tipping the pelvis under, rounding the upper and lower back, and dropping the hand down. Make a C-curve and get as rounded as you can by drawing the abs up toward the spine during an exhale.

Then inhale to reverse the pose into a cow pose as you tilt the pelvis up, arch the lower and upper back, and look up.

Relax back to a neutral spine and continue alternating cat and cow with your breath for the desired reps.

Common Mistakes

A common mistake is not using a large range of motion and or much mind-muscle connection. Challenge yourself by trying to get as much range from your spine as you can. This will require good scapular and core stabilization connection.


Animation of how to do Cat cow pose